When asked to rank the top criteria when choosing an employer, salary remains the most important factor in the US, followed by job security and a pleasant work atmosphere.
When selecting attributes that are most important when choosing an employer, men were more attracted than women to financial health, career progression, and strong management. Women were more attracted than men to salary, atmosphere, and work-life balance.
An employer that is honest, reliable, and secure encompassed the top three most attractive characteristics for all age groups surveyed.
Competitive salary and job security were more essential to those over 35. Americans under 35 years old value work-life balance, career progression opportunities and flexible work options more than their older counterparts.
Americans find that an unfavorable work environment is the factor that most affects their work-life balance. Surprisingly, working after hours and lack of schedule flexibility did not make the top 3 overall.
The Top 3 fields that employees in the US currently prefer to work in are media & information (60%), information technology (60%), and aerospace & defense (55%).
Males rated information technology as their most preferred industry while females selected media & information
Across 6 countries in Europe, job security is the most important factor to 21% of potential employees when choosing to work for an employer. The increase in the importance of job security could be explained by the current recession in Europe’s economy, particularly in Spain where 30% select it as the most important factor. Likewise, recent job losses may explain why job security grew significantly more important in the UK (17% to 27%) and in Australia (15% to 26%).
In India and Singapore, employers’ financial health is the most important factor to about a third of the potential workforce. The importance of job security is not as prominent as in Europe, although it ranks as the second most important factor. In Japan, financial health is also prioritized over job security. Australia is the exception in APAC, where job security is top priority to a quarter. In New Zealand and Canada, both factors are highly important, with job security slightly ahead of financial health.
While job security is the key factor in Europe in general, salary & employee benefits comes out first in France and Poland according to 20% of respondents. Remarkably, those in Spain are much less concerned with salary (8%) compared to other countries overall (13%). Outside Europe, only 6% in Japan look for salary first, while it is the most often selected top 5 item in Singapore and the second most often preferred by Canadians.
Twenty-two percent in the Netherlands point at working atmosphere as the most important factor versus 9% across the 14 countries. No less than 74% of the Dutch respondents select the item in their top 5 of most important factors when looking for a job.
After job security, candidates in Spain select career prospects as the most important top 5 criterion when looking for a job. They also look more for job content than work-life balance, while balance is clearly more important to Italian and German people.
Overall, only 2% view global career opportunities as the most important factor and 13% select it as one of their top 5 most important criteria when looking for an employer. This is different in India, where 5% think global career prospects is the most important factor and no less than 39% select it in their top 5.
31% of potential Japanese employees look for interesting job content first, before the company’s financial health and job security; 75% selected the item in their top 5 of most important factors. While job content is also a top 5 item to 40% in New Zealand, as in most European countries, the item is clearly less important in India (25%), Singapore (28%), Germany (27%), and the Netherlands (28%).
Automotive, Informatics-Consulting and FMCG are the top 3 most popular sectors based on the companies’ attractiveness across countries. Informatics-Consulting is the number one sector in India and one of the most attractive sectors in Belgium and Germany. Automotive is the favorite sector in Germany & UK and one of the top 3 in Poland. FMCG is the most attractive sector in Japan. Electronics ranks first in Italy, Spain and Poland while Aeronautics is the most attractive in France and Pharmaceutical in Belgium. Media is the number one sector in New Zealand and top-ranked also in France and in Belgium. Other attractive sectors are Fashion & Luxury in Italy, Power in Poland, Machine Construction in Germany, Consumer Goods in France, Hospitality in Singapore, Mining in Australia and Engineering/Construction in Canada. Least attractive sectors in general are Retail and Transport & Logistics.
Female respondents showed a similar pattern across countries: women are typically concerned with flexible working arrangements, a good work-life balance, accessibility of the workplace and a pleasant working atmosphere.
Across countries, men look more for financially healthy companies and they are typically focused on strong management, future prospects, international career opportunities, good training and quality products and services. In addition, men are more interested in the use of latest technologies and innovative practices.
Young potential employees appear to be more attracted to companies that offer future prospects, global career opportunities and good training. They seem ambitious and eager to grow in their career.
Salary and work-life balance are more important to respondents aged 25-44, which can be linked to the fact that they often have children to raise and need sufficient budget and a good balance between their job and family life.
Older people are more concerned with job security and the financial health of the company. Strong management and good quality of products and services are other important criteria to the older population.
In general, respondents with a lower educational degree (mainly primary and secondary degree) are more concerned with job security and comfort in terms of flexible working and accessibility of the workplace. The lower respondents’ education level, the higher the importance they assign to salary, atmosphere and flexible working arrangements.
Higher educated people are generally more attracted to companies that offer interesting job content, future prospects and global career opportunities.
From a global perspective, it seems that office workers share the same basic needs as production workers, like job security, pleasant working atmosphere, flexible working arrangements and good accessibility of the workplace. However, they assign significantly more importance to the job content and also look more for career prospects than production workers. In this respect, office workers have more in common with managers as they aspire to learn and perform on a higher level. Managers also look more for career prospects, strong management, international career opportunities, strong image and values and innovativeness.
Sixty-two percent use job boards to find a job. Social media and networking events are more popular among men. People with a master’s degree more often look for jobs via social media and employers’ websites as compared to people with a lower degree.
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